Re: Question: Fuel Dumping

Date:         06 Jan 97 01:41:45 
From: (Gary Moffitt)
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> Regarding articles about fuel dumping and just out of curiosity:
> Is fuel dumping a dangerous operation in itself (not counting the emergency
> that makes fuel dumping necessary)? Any increased fire or explosion risk?

You bet there is. You are spraying vaporizing kerosene out of the trailing
edge of a wing at 200 knots. That is why there is an FAR on the design
requirements of a fuel jettison system. There are of course many design
considerations and one of the primary ones is fire and explosion
prevention.  I recall reading about several inflight fires and subsequent
crashes that were caused by fuel, leaking from a tank and being sucked
into the air inlet of a combustion heater.  Yes this was many years ago,
back when airliners had combustion heaters, piston engines and were fueled
by gasoline. But the same principles apply.  So I don't think that it is a
co-incidence that the FAR on fuel jettison systems requires that "Fuel or
fumes do not enter any part of the airplane."

Gary S. Moffitt